Anyway, this particular issue contains a round table discussion on the recent Fall/Winter 2010/2011 season, and one of the topics covered in said round table is "On the Rise and Rise of Models." Interestingly enough, Freja's picture is chosen as the lead in image for this section:
It was a nice surprise, but when I took the time to think about it, it shouldn't have been a surprise at all. This absolutely jives with all the recent coverage that Freja has been receiving lately, for it seems like she is fashion's current model du jour--the poster girl of model success. It's wonderful for sure, but it also brings bittersweet feelings. I mean, when you're so "of the moment," it's only a matter of time before the moment passes and you're suddenly out of it. Maybe that's my pessimism speaking, but I just don't want Freja to get overexposed and I fear it's happening. Anyway, that isn't the point of this post....sorry to be so scatterbrained. The point is that a few quotes stuck out to me and got me thinking about the issue of celebrity.
Q: "We might think that a lot of models are sort of cookie cutter, completely without personality and importance, but in fact, if you've been on Models.com or the Fashion Spot or Model Manual, there is a fascination with models that seems to be growing. What are your thoughts on this?"Do you think this is true in Freja's case? And if so, how does this reconcile with her fierce upkeep of privacy outside of modeling? Can Freja be a celebrity when we know essentially nothing about her besides what she shows on the runway, in fashion candids and on magazine pages? Doesn't that just make her simply a model? I've always been curious to know how many people like her for her work, versus those that "like" like her, versus those that like her for her personality and everything it embodies and signifies (the irony of this doesn't escape me considering none of us really know her). I try to focus this blog on the work, and even though I don't really care about all the gossip and whisperings about her personal life, I am fully aware of them. After all, lots of voices whispering together creates a pretty loud sound. So is this the by-product of the celebrity fascination mentioned above? Is the Freja fan domain created out of a fascination with her as a person, instead of the work that she does? Are the two facets mutually exclusive? Or are they rather codependent, with each informing and bolstering the other?
A: "...I don't think this is a fixation on models. It's a fascination with these people and the lives that they lead. Agyness has her music, she has modeling and acting. Each of them is a rock star in their own right. It's a fascination with the celebrity, not the model."
If Freja really was just a model, no one would care about what she did off-duty, what her tattoos means, who she hangs out with, who she sleeps with, etc, etc. But people do care, and I have no idea why they care so much other than to say that models are indeed the new "celebrity." That's disconcerting in a way, because you get a sense that after a while, this fascination begins to come at the price of the work. And this brings me to the second quote from the round table.
"What often happens in fashion, particularly fashion photography, is that everybody is seeking beauty, but with no other thought than combining things that have been approved by everybody else in the industry: best model, best photographer, best studio. All you can think of when looking at the pictures is that they certainly had good salads and sandwiches at the shoot. But it has no charm, no little accidents, no surprises."In all honestly, this sums up the way I've felt about some (but definitely not all) of Freja's work lately. She's had so much of it since everyone is (seemingly) rushing to capitalize on her popularity and celebrity. But as a result, the moments of awe and inspiration seem diluted. Don't get me wrong....they are still there. But I feel like I have to look harder and longer to find them, and that's frustrating when you feel the pressure to love everything someone does simply because you run a blog about them.
Back when I started this whole thing, I would have been leaping for joy at the success that Freja's had in the past few months. But now that it's here, I can't get that bittersweet taste out of my mouth. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, right? And just watch.....if Freja ever disappears I'll be howling with frustration at her lack of new work and wishing to recapture this moment where she was on top. (In the voice of Chandler Bing) Can I be anymore fickle and temperamental? I'll just blame it on human nature and utilize another popular saying: the grass is always greener on the other side.
Your thoughts on models, celebrities, model celebrities, Freja, and fickleness? So sorry for the lengthy, stream of consciousness post, but it's pretty quiet news wise so I thought I'd go a little crazy. :)
Image Credits: My Scan